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  1. nyota's Avatar
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    #1

    The driver at the traffic lights was 'riding his clutch'

    The driver at the traffic lights was riding his clutch. (I once jotted the sentence down but I don't remember where it's from.)

    I know riding the clutch means keeping it between full engagement and disengagement and that people sometimes do it in slow traffic, or when they let out the clutch too slowly when changing gears, but I don't quite get how you can ride it at the traffic lights? The way I see it is that you basically wait at the lights.

    Or is it that somebody spotted a driver at the lights and 'heard' the roaring sound you make when you are slow with the clutch and use too many revs to pull away?

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The driver at the traffic lights was 'riding his clutch'

    Quote Originally Posted by nyota View Post
    The driver at the traffic lights was riding his clutch. (I once jotted the sentence down but I don't remember where it's from.)

    I know riding the clutch means keeping it between full engagement and disengagement and that people sometimes do it in slow traffic, or when they let out the clutch too slowly when changing gears, but I don't quite get how you can ride it at the traffic lights? The way I see it is that you basically wait at the lights.

    Or is it that somebody spotted a driver at the lights and 'heard' the roaring sound you make when you are slow with the clutch and use too many revs to pull away?
    You can ride the clutch when the car is stationary too. Basically, it means that you are holding the car still without using either the footbrake or the handbrake. Even if you're not on a hill, you can do this by, as you say, keeping the clutch at the exact mid-point between being engaged and being disengaged. Obviously, this would not work if you were pointing downhill at a set of traffic lights, but uphill or on the level it would work.

  3. nyota's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: The driver at the traffic lights was 'riding his clutch'

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    You can ride the clutch when the car is stationary too. Basically, it means that you are holding the car still without using either the footbrake or the handbrake. Even if you're not on a hill, you can do this by, as you say, keeping the clutch at the exact mid-point between being engaged and being disengaged. Obviously, this would not work if you were pointing downhill at a set of traffic lights, but uphill or on the level it would work.
    I'd say it often/sometimes grabs on the level when at the mid-point position?

    PS. Ah, alright, before it bites.
    Last edited by nyota; 24-May-2011 at 22:46. Reason: changing [U][/U], PS

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The driver at the traffic lights was 'riding his clutch'

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Basically, it means that you are holding the car still without using either the footbrake or the handbrake. Even if you're not on a hill, you can do this by, as you say, keeping the clutch at the exact mid-point between being engaged and being disengaged
    In one of my many incarnations, I was an ADI ([Department of Transport] Approved Driving Instructor). One of my pet hates was young male learners who insisted on riding the clutch, once they'd learnt how to do it, at traffic lights instead of using the parking brake.

    It is, or was, the correct procedure for a hill start. You click the parking brake (to make instant release quicker) and gently raise the clutch to biting point. That is when you are, very briefly, riding the clutch. You can then release the parking brake with no fear of rolling back, and simultaneously let the clutch pedal gently up and increase pressure on gas; hey presto - you move off.

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: The driver at the traffic lights was 'riding his clutch'

    I didn't say it was a recommended driving manoeuvre or position! I just know it's possible.

    Having said that, it's not just young male drivers who do it. I'm afraid I'm as guilty of it as they are, especially when waiting at traffic lights facing uphill!

  6. nyota's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: The driver at the traffic lights was 'riding his clutch'

    Oh I'm liking this thread. I get answers and everybody's throwing in very nice vocab. Please, do go on. ;)

  7. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: The driver at the traffic lights was 'riding his clutch'

    Quote Originally Posted by nyota View Post
    Oh I'm liking this thread. I get answers and everybody's throwing in very nice vocab. Please, do go on. ;)
    I'll go on then, though it's not relevant to your original question.

    It is commonly believed, by males at least, that 'women drivers' are inferior to men. I found the reverse - with a few exceptions. Immediately after my pupils had passed their test, I used to tell them to drive around on their own for ten minutes, and then come back to collect me. With most of my female pupils, I had no qualms about this; with some of the males, I had an anxious ten minutes.

    When a female started to learn to drive, she normally wanted to, guess what? - learn to drive, safely. Some males, however, were interested only in getting their driving licence so that they were free to show what they could do with a car.

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    #8

    Re: The driver at the traffic lights was 'riding his clutch'

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    You can ride the clutch when the car is stationary too. Basically, it means that you are holding the car still without using either the footbrake or the handbrake. Even if you're not on a hill, you can do this by, as you say, keeping the clutch at the exact mid-point between being engaged and being disengaged. Obviously, this would not work if you were pointing downhill at a set of traffic lights, but uphill or on the level it would work.
    Isn't it called "slipping the clutch"? I tried to find out what the difference between them is on the internet and if I understand it correctly, riding the clutch is what you do when you ride a car and thoughtlessly press the clutch pedal. I think that would make what I do on a hill too, slipping. However, Wikipedia says that slipping the clutch is alternately pressing and releasing the pedal, which is not what I do then...
    Last edited by birdeen's call; 24-May-2011 at 23:06.

  8. nyota's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: The driver at the traffic lights was 'riding his clutch'

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I'll go on then, though it's not relevant to your original question.

    It is commonly believed, by males at least, that 'women drivers' are inferior to men. I found the reverse - with a few exceptions. Immediately after my pupils had passed their test, I used to tell them to drive around on their own for ten mintes, and then come back to collect me. With most of my female pupils, I had no qualms about this; with some of the males, I had an anxious ten minutes.

    When a female started to learn to drive, she normally wanted to, guess what? - learn to drive, safely. Some males, however, were interested only in getting their driving licence so that they were free to show what they could do with a car.
    I think it has something to do with evolution and women's need to nest and men's urge to conquer. Anyhow, there's a lot of truth in what you're saying. I remember my dad's words when I asked if I could take the car soon after I've passed my exam: you're lucky you're a girl, otherwise there's no chance I'd be giving you the keys. ;)

  9. 5jj's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: The driver at the traffic lights was 'riding his clutch'

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    Isn't it called "slipping the clutch"?
    These are not universally recognised terms. All I can say here is that in my ADI experience in southern England (c 1989-1998), some of my colleagues used 'slipping' and some 'riding' when speaking of holding the clutch at biting point - whether correctly or incorrectly.

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